Arsenal have a decision to make after Marseille lodged an offer for Nuno Tavares, and a report claims their chances of saying yes could hinge on signing a Man Utd target.
The Portuguese arrived at the Emirates just one year ago. Tavares was signed with a view to providing stiff competition for Kieran Tierney at left-back. However, Tavares laboured in his maiden season and was hooked at half time by manager Mikel Arteta on numerous occasions.
At 22, time is still firmly on Tavares’ side to justify his £8m price tag. But according to French outlet Foot Mercato, Marseille hope to cut his stay in north London short.
It’s reported the French side have lodged a loan bid that includes an option to buy. The amount the option would be set at isn’t stated in the piece.
The French publication add Arsenal are yet to respond to the proposal. However, it’s claimed the Gunners would only be on board with a loan if it didn’t include the option to buy.
Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano added weight to the story, tweeting Tavares is among the options being considered at Marseille.
Romano also confirmed only a loan move would be workable this summer, thus ruling out a permanent sale.
The Athletic’s David Ornstein backed up the prior claims. However, he added Arsenal are in fact open to loaning Tavares out – providing they get a suitable body through the door first.
Nuno Tavares deal hinging on Man Utd target
The identity of their primary target in that regard is a player also on Manchester United’s radar – Lisandro Martinez.
The Ajax ace, 24, operates primarily at centre-half. However, the left-footer is also capable of deputising at left-back when required.
The Argentine emerged on the radar of Man Utd soon after Erik ten Hag was installed at the helm. Winger Antony is another in United’s crosshairs, though the Mirror claimed Ajax will strive to only sell one more major name this summer.
As such, the futures of Antony, Martinez and Tavares could all be intertwined.
Ajax hold the key
The Dutch side have already lost key cogs Ryan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui this summer – both to Bayern Munich.
If they stick to their word and only sanction one more major exit, one of Arsenal or United will be left empty-handed.
If United sign Antony then it stands to reason Martinez won’t make way. In that scenario, Tavares would likely stay put at the Emirates.
Alternatively, if Arsenal sign Martinez then Tavares will be free to join Marseille. United would then face an almighty struggle to convince Ajax to let Antony go too.
All eyes will be on Amsterdam in the coming days and weeks.